Gabriel Orozco Returns to Kurimanzutto with a Classic Exhibition

Gabriel Orozco Returns to Kurimanzutto with a Classic Exhibition

Gabriel Orozco, a noteworthy artist, is returning to the Kurimanzutto gallery seven years after his last exhibition, which drew significant attention and controversy for its transformation of the gallery into an Oxxo store. This time around, Orozco describes his new exhibition as being “very classic”, consisting of painting, sculpture, and drawing.

The exhibition showcases his latest work, which is deeply tied to the places where he resides. His creative endeavors began in Tokyo during the covid-19 pandemic, then continued in Mexico where he has been leading the project “Chapultepec: Nature and Culture” for the past five years. This project is one of the most significant cultural initiatives of the Mexican Republic’s government.

The new exhibition, named after the Veracruz creator (Xalapa, 1962), opened yesterday and will run until March 23 at the Governor Rafael Rebollar 94 complex, San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood. It includes the series of drawings titled “Plant diary” – previously shown in London, Paris and New York –, a collection of sculptures from the series “Of the” (dice, in French), and five large-format paintings. These paintings feature the “Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo da Vinci, painted on a human scale, overlaid on a two-dimensional reproduction of the monumental stone sculpture of Coatlicue, the Mexica goddess of life and death.

Also included is another large-format painting in which da Vinci’s famous drawing is intertwined with an octopus, as well as smaller-scale drawings where the “vitruvius” is superimposed on other animals, such as frogs and plants.

In an interview with “The Day”, Gabriel Orozco, considered the most international of Mexican artists today, emphasizes that this new exhibition, although it adheres to a more classic order of art, is far from conventional.

Orozco explains, “Just as people think that artists cannot do architecture, fountains, public space or urban development in the social sense, it is also interesting to realize that techniques are not opposed and that you can paint, draw, make sculpture and create work. on a small or large scale at the same time”.

“my personal space”

Orozco describes this latest body of work as a sort of refuge from his responsibilities leading the project in Bosque de Chapultepec. He says, “Drawing, painting, as well as working with my stones, was a way to have my personal space, because we have been working for five years of a lot of work, many meetings, many tours.”

He continues, “So, that physical activity when I withdraw to continue with my things, to write my ideas in my notebooks, to draw, was what generated a refuge in these techniques, which are the ones that I have practiced throughout my life. life, but that have not been displayed in that way in Mexico; because the last exhibition here, that of “Oroxxo,” doesn’t mean that I was doing Oxxos all over the world, although I would have loved to open a chain, right? Ha ha ha.”

Orozco elaborates, “I did the Oxxo thing in Mexico because it was a site-specific exhibition. This is how I work in general: in each place where I exhibit, I focus on that specificity. Now, the specificity is to work these images with the Coatlicue. I wonder how that work is going to be read in Europe and the United States; I don’t know if they will see the same thing as us in these new paintings, as well as in the sculptures. I consider myself, first and foremost, a sculptor, someone who works with time and three-dimensional space, above all; but I have always drawn and painted, in some way.”

When asked if the Chapultepec project has transformed his artistic work or his conception of art, Orozco replies, “It’s not that I have transformed it, but I think I learned to value or understand the processes, for example, of planting, pruning, cleaning landscapes and how nature works in its cycles of restoration and survival.”

Orozco goes on to explain that in his work, nature has been very important from the beginning, but he learned a lot in Chapultepec; in the entire ecological political part related, in addition, to an ecological culture or to our conscience from the cultural-artistic environment.

“There is still a long way to go in the ecological awareness part, from how we work and produce to how we distribute and present our work.”

“Chapultepec is a great public art or public culture project; We are going to call it culture, so that it does not seem like I am talking about art, but it is a great project of public, ecological, community culture, of public space, in which we learned a lot from working with workers and gardeners to the secretaries of State. and the President.”

Orozco concludes, “It was a great learning. It’s not that it changes my way of seeing art. I have always tried to make my production in the media I use functional: social, interactive with the public, with myself, with reality; that in some way establish bridges of connectivity with the real world, with the countries in which I am working, with different generations, because with my work I can communicate with the very young and the chavorrucos like me.”

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